Dinesh D’Souza, after denying he’d done anything wrong and blaming it all on a vendetta against him. pleaded guilty on Tuesday to violating campaign finance laws by making straw donations in the name of other people. The Worldnetdaily calls this a “courtroom shocker,” but it was inevitable.
Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, whose movie “2016: Obama’s America” rocked the 2012 presidential election campaign, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge that involves two instances of illegal campaign contributions.
In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Richard Berman that lasted just under an hour, he admitted reimbursing friends for making contributions to Wendy Long’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2012.
He confirmed that he reimbursed two friends $10,000 in cash for their contributions to the campaign. The federal limit for individuals making contributions was $5,000.
The plea bargain had been expected. In a statement announcing the Tuesday hearing, the U.S. attorney’s office used language “that typically indicates that a plea is expected to occur,” according to a New York Times analysis…
In a statement released by his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, D’Souza said he was accepting responsibility for “having urged two close associates to make contributions” to the unsuccessful campaign and then reimbursing them.
The statement said that because of the “technical nature” of the charges, there was no “viable defense.”
Of course there was no viable defense — he did it. There was no question that he did it and no question that it was illegal. This was the inevitable result, that he would plead guilty and almost certainly get a fine and probation. The maximum sentence was 5 years in prison, but that was never going to happen. But it does look like a jail term may be a possibility.
“I did reimburse them,” D’Souza told U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman. “I knew that causing a campaign contribution to be made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids. I deeply regret my conduct.”
A plea agreement D’Souza signed calls for him not to challenge any sentence within the range of 10 months to 16 months.
His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement immediately after the plea that he was hopeful that the judge “will recognize Mr. D’Souza to be a fundamentally honorable man who should not be imprisoned for what was an isolated instance of wrongdoing in an otherwise productive life.” Sentencing was set for Sept. 23.
This will be interesting to watch. And as much as I despise D’Souza, I’d be okay with a fine and probation. A jail term seems like too much to me for such a small potatoes violation. We’re talking $10,000 in a campaign that cost millions.
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